Hall, Alaric (2007) The Etymology and Meanings of Eldritch. Scottish Language, 26. pp. 16-22. ISSN 0264 0198Full text available as:
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'The Etymology and Meanings of Eldritch' argues against the traditional derivation of eldritch from Old English *ælf-rīce (‘elf’ + ‘dominion, sphere of influence’), arguing that the etymology is rather *æl-rīce~el-rīce, the first element meaning ‘foreign, strange; from elsewhere’, and the whole therefore meaning ‘other world’. The key evidence is the variant spellings of eldritch in Older Scots texts cannot regularly be accommodated by *ælf- but can be accomodated by the prefix *æl-~el-. The article develops this point by showing that the putative origin of eldritch in ælf- seems to have influenced the definitions of eldritch given both in the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and in more recent scholarship: its connotations of elves and elvishness have in some circumstances been overplayed, and the more general meaning of ‘otherworldly’ is to be preferred.
|Institution:||The University of Leeds|
|Academic Units:||The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)|
|Depositing User:||Dr Alaric Hall|
|Date Deposited:||06 Oct 2008 14:25|
|Last Modified:||04 Jun 2014 11:29|
|Publisher:||The Association for Scottish Literary Studies|